I'm Davan Maharaj, editor of the Los Angeles Times. Here are some story lines I don't want you to miss today.
Are You Ready for Some Football?
L.A. has its NFL team: The Rams are heading back to Los Angeles after an absence of more than two decades. Will the San Diego Chargers follow suit? The NFL gave the team a year to decide if it wants join the Rams at a new arena in Inglewood. No doubt, there are more twists to come.
More About the NFL's Return to L.A.:
-- Bill Plaschke: Hello, NFL? Is that really you?
-- If you're new to L.A. and need a temporary venue, try the Coliseum first.
-- Meet your new L.A. Rams.
Once More, With Feeling
At the outset of President Obama's last State of the Union speech, he promised to keep it short. And by sticking to broad themes of optimism and the peril of partisan politics, he mostly did. Few specific policy details emerged, but Obama laid out plans for jobs, foreign policy, trade and much more. Read the transcript here.
Why the Powerball Jackpot Got So Big
Do you have your ticket? The next Powerball drawing is tonight, with an unprecedented top prize of $1.5 billion. It's no accident. Officials made Powerball harder to win in an effort to make the prizes bigger because "jackpot fatigue" had set in. It seems people just aren't interested in trying to win mere hundreds of millions of dollars. Here are the ways Powerball changed, why columnist Michael Hiltzik calls it "an even bigger ripoff" and how much goes to schools (not a lot).
How LAUSD Selected Its New Leader
When L.A. school officials went looking for a superintendent, Chief Deputy Supt. Michelle King was far from the obvious choice. She had worked her entire career in the LAUSD and had been passed over to serve as the interim leader. But her quiet, insider attributes eventually worked in her favor, as other candidates proved too polarizing, dropped out or failed to impress. This is how it all came together for King, the first female superintendent for L.A. schools since 1929.
This New Movie Mogul Speaks Mandarin
Wang Jianlin's surname means "king" in Chinese, and right now, it's good to be Wang. He's already the richest man in China. With his acquisition of the production company Legendary Entertainment, he aims to be a power player in Hollywood and beyond. "We already have a big impact in China, however this is not enough," he said. "We have to have a global vision."
-- Steve Lopez: Will the safe choice for L.A. Unified chief turn out to be the best?
-- LAPD Chief Charlie Beck asks the Police Commission to delay its review of a fatal shooting.
-- L.A. politicians will explore a possible tax or bond measure to help the homeless.
-- Two feet of snow is expected across the northern Sierra Nevada this week.
-- Iran has freed 10 U.S. sailors seized on two U.S. Navy vessels in Iranian waters.
-- Turkey says Islamic State was behind a suicide bombing in Istanbul.
-- Germany moves to make it easier to deport migrants who commit crimes.
-- The Supreme Court strikes down Florida's death penalty system.
-- Americans from Taiwan return home to vote and boost democracy.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
-- "Transformers" director Michael Bay shifts gears with "13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi."
-- Video: The Times' music team remembers David Bowie.
-- Critic Mark Swed hits the road for a weekend of SoCal orchestra listening.
-- Charlie Rose plans to interview Sean Penn about his meeting with Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.
-- Columnist Glenn Whipp offers his final Oscar nomination picks; the announcement is Thursday.
-- Ricky Gervais doesn't care if he offended you or Caitlyn Jenner supporters.
-- Oil dipped below $30 a barrel, its lowest level in 12 years.
-- Uber will give a second chance to people whose felonies have been reduced to misdemeanors.
-- The Shanghai Disney Resort, the company's second biggest behind Orlando, is set to open June 16.
-- High-cost outfield player upgrades are still out of the Angels' reach.
-- USC is losing its football recruiting coordinator.
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
-- How David Bowie helped bring down the Berlin Wall. (Foreign Policy)
-- What is up with "El Chapo's" shirts? (Vanity Fair)
-- Why salaries for some NCAA conference commissioners have increased dramatically. (Washington Post)
ONLY IN L.A.
In the campy "Machete" films, Danny Trejo's fearsome ex-Federale character utters such lines as "Machete don't text" and "Machete don't smoke." So what does Machete do? How about opening a taco restaurant including vegan and gluten-free options? Trejo has done that, although he didn't get the sign he wanted: one with a hand wielding a long knife. Hey, Machete can't do everything.